Why you should care
Because it’s a fact: Trans-art action is where it’s at.
At the nexus of art, performance, dance, camp, music and gender-bendery super-styled sexy sits the not-so-unlikely Monique Jenkinson.
Not-so-unlikely, because despite years of formal training in ballet, Jenkinson’s heeding the call of the westward wild — San Francisco and trans culture — seemed almost preordained. At least when you look past this Bennington grad’s pedigree and take in total her penchant and real affection for super-flamboyance.
I first put on fake eyelashes for the first time when I was 15. It was like … ‘This is my face … this is what my face is supposed to look like!’
You see, Jenkinson was the first woman to win San Francisco’s infamous Miss Trannyshack Pageant. Then she won Best Drag Act of 2009 in the San Francisco Bay Guardian’s Best of the Bay Readers’ Poll, and then she appeared full force in the documentary Filthy Gorgeous: The Trannyshack Story.
Which translates to, if you needed help with any of that, some badassed meta-themed magic, magical enough to score a de Young Museum Irvine Fellowship for 2012. And via the heart of her art — solo shows, like Faux Real and Luxury Items — she’s shown almost everywhere from England to Iceland, and the New Orleans Fringe Festival to Coachella. Almost all as a female female impersonator.
That’s right: a woman playing a man who is playing a woman: Fauxnique. And as you’re wrapping your head around that, you should know that it’s probably a lot harder than it looks.
But “I first put on fake eyelashes for the first time when I was 15,” said Monique from her redoubt in the San Francisco Mission. “It was like … ‘This is my face … this is what my face is supposed to look like!’”
We should all be so lucky.
Forthwith, ladies, gentlemen, and all assorted and sundry: Ms. Monique Jenkinson.
Video by Tom Gorman. Tom is an OZY video producer.